New Rochelle Mayor Bramson’s Voodoo Development Claims (Part III)

Written By: Anthony Galletta

BramsonWitchDoctorIn Part III, I will examine the burden placed on New Rochelle through Calls For Service” (CFS) from 255 Huguenot Street (Avalon 1) and 40 Memorial Highway (Avalon East [2]). CFS is responses made to residents seeking public and or emergency services from the New Rochelle Police Department (NRPD), the New Rochelle Fire Department (NRFD) and Trans Care Ambulance service.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the information to establish an accurate dollar amount to the CFS, which would involve costs of pay scale, housing, vehicle, fuel, maintenance, personnel, management, equipment, training, longevity, holiday, overtime, uniform allowance, tuition reimbursement and other associated costs. City officials also were unable to determine costs per call as my FOIL requested. I believe the sheer number of calls is staggering enough to estimate an ultra-conservative taxpayer burden in the millions.

There were 974 total combined Calls For Service in 2010 for the Avalon Buildings. There were 809 for the New Rochelle Police Department. There were 165 for the New Rochelle Fire Department. The chart provides a more detailed breakdown.

NR 2010 CallsforServiceI attempted to reach Mr. James O’Connor, V.P. of Trans Care Ambulance, multiple times for EMS responses in 2010 but was unable to obtain the information.

Mayor Bramson insistently states a $7.5 million net benefit figure without any substantial specifics or defining what year(s) his figure represent. I have verified my statistics from the most current data obtained through FOIL requests made to the NRPD & NRFD for 2010. Actual costs per call were requested but could not be determined so realize this; box alarms at the Avalon buildings (anything from smoke alarm to a pot on a stove or a fire alarm) are responded to with the following NRFD personnel;

1 Deputy Chief
1 Incident Command Technician / Driver
4 Lieutenants at a minimum
13 Firefighters

That’s 19 fire personnel leaving 8 firefighters left to protect the entire city of New Rochelle, based on minimum manpower of 27 per shift. If it’s a working fire, it’s all fire personnel dispatched to Avalon with a call for mutual aid.

809 Calls For Service from the NRPD, 165 Calls For Service from the NRFD and an undisclosed number of EMS calls from a private ambulance service. I did verify that on every EMS call the NRFD dispatches one engine with 1 lieutenant and 2 to 4 firefighters. The private costs of EMS service provided by Trans Care would be added to NRPD and NRFD costs.

Overall, three part revue of 2010 statistics show;

$10,042,821 City, School & Library taxes Avalon would pay at 100% evaluation
$ 2,300,000 hard cost New Rochelle taxpayers bear for 115 Avalon students
$12,342,821 Total Direct Negative Impact on NEW ROCHELLE TAXPAYERS

To that total one would have to add the costs of 974 Calls For Service and undisclosed costs for EMS responses supplied by a private ambulance service from Avalon 1 and Avalon East [2].

Mayor Bramson touts handpicked projects while excluding the costs of the most egregious projects. Bramson states these projects “net significant revenue” while providing no specifics and totally ignoring the expense side of the balance sheet. In Bramson’s Voodoo Statistics I wonder if he factored in, or is even aware of 732 additional Calls For Service from the NRPD to the development projects he cites; Lofts at New Roc, Trump Plaza Apartments, 543 Main Street, Davenport Lofts, Costco and Home Depot in 2010? When added to Avalon, that’s 1,706 Calls For Service in 2010 for Bramson’s hand-picked projects without NRFD or ambulance Calls For Service, which were not available at time of post!

Mayor Bramson is incorrect on two levels. First the definition of “net” is, the amount left after deductions. Mayor Bramson is looking at development through rose-colored glasses inside a vacuum. Taxpayers need both sides of the balance sheet to determine for themselves if there is a net benefit or loss from New Rochelle development. When one factors in tax abatements, additional students as well as the costs of increased public services that skyscrapers and increased population demand, it is clear that there are no net financial benefits from New Rochelle’s development. In fact there are 20 plus years left on Avalon’s tax abatement, which will impede New Rochelle’s financial security and safety for generations.

Lastly, Mayor Bramson’s “New Rochelle News from Mayor Noam Bramson” is dated Winter 2011. The first day of winter 2011 is nine months away, December 22, 2011. It is clear Mayor Bramson is projecting a political fantasy of a $7.5 million net benefit, which is nothing more than an election year machination.

UPDATE: Today I received my FOIL request from the City in reference to the number of Calls For Service (CFS) from the Bramson cherry-picked projects in 2010. That number is 197. When totaled, we now have 1,903 Police & Fire CFS for the new development in 2010. This number does not include ambulance CFS which I am still attempting to attain.

This article is the third article in a series.

39 thoughts on “New Rochelle Mayor Bramson’s Voodoo Development Claims (Part III)”

  1. GreeNR down the tubes
    I looked over this GreeNR plan once again to try and understand it. It seems more like a “master plan” for downtown NR than anything else. Once again, it discusses the need for “density” in the downtown. It involves many items which cannot possibly be achieved without some source of funding–including upgrading infrastructure.

    Basically, what this plan says is that yes, the people wanted retail, better roads, better traffic flow and less congestion in downtown for the last 20 years. Now, thanks to the Mayor’s GreeNR plan, that will happen over the next 30 years. Seems like a new paint job on an old car. It is a new way for the Mayor to claim that more high-rise buildings in the downtown are actually beneficial to NR in under the umbrella of Sustainabilty.

    99% of what is in this plan WILL cost money, whose money is yet to be seen. There is absolutely no need for it unless it has some undefined purpose that the public will not be made aware of until after its adoption. My guess is that it is a way for the Mayor to get his development plans achieved. He can now say council adopted GreeNR and therefore the construction of more high-rises fall within the scope of the plan and should be approved. He can claim such buildings have an economic and enviromental benefit to the city and gain public and political support for his projects.

    Think about this, Peggy Godfrey and many others have claimed that NR’s infrastucture can’t handle the type of development that residents have been stuck with. Now, all of a sudden, the Mayor concedes that a significant investment needs to made in infrastructure. Is this a way of saying he failed to realize this BEFORE Avalon and Trump and now needs to correct it? Is the infrastructure going to be rebuilt at taxpayer expense to accomodate past and future high-rise development schemes and increased density in NR?

    This plan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and the public better be aware of it.

  2. I agree with Brian Sussman
    I agree with Brian Sussman and Anthony Galetta. We would be better off with a strong mayor government in NR and Tim Idoni is a very good county clerk.

    Mr. Galetta is also right. Just becuase Paduano tore down buildings doesn’t mean we had to build Avalon with a 30 year tax abatement. As they say, two wrongs don’t make it right.

    1. A good county clerk? I hope your kidding!
      The position of county clerk is a fluff position that most would have a hard time truly justifying in the real world. Plus Idoni’s really done nothing to modernize the department, like putting property records online.

      I for one was happy though when he decided to move on from New Rochelle politics, but now we’re stuck in the Noam zone.

      1. He has modernized the office
        He has modernized the office and you can get a lot of stuff online now including legal and property records.

      2. County Clerk is Serious Executive Job – Idoni Has Done Well
        In Reply to Fifth Ave Guy, I must point out that the County Clerk is a serious executive job, and it has been done well by Tim Idoni.

        Fifth Ave Guy posted “Idoni’s really done nothing to modernize the department, like putting property records online.”

        If Fifth Ave Guy thinks to “modernize the Department” would be something good about the County Clerk, then Fifth Ave Guy must state that Tim Idoni is a good County Clerk. Anyone who has used the services of the Dept of County Clerk over the years knows that Tim Idoni completely modernized / computerized the County Clerk services within the first two years of his administration. This is especially true in the areas of Deeds and Court Records.

        Prior to Tim Idoni, the County Clerk kept mnost of the records of Deeds in ancient and heavy hand-written books. County Clerk Idoni has put most of these records on Computer, making title searches easier, quicker and more certain of accuracy. Idoni also updated the existing computer system from one quite antiquated, obsolete and difficult to use, to one that is fast and intuitive.

        Fifth Ave Guy posted “Idoni’s really done nothing …like putting property records online.” Considering that Idoni is the County Clerk who did put property records online, Fifth Ave Guy is mistaken here too.

        Therefore, Fifth Ave Guy should congratulate Tim Idoni for being an excellent County Clerk who has modernized the department and put property records online.

        I doubt Fifth Ave Guy will do so, as I perceive him as one of those types of Republicans, who with a knee-jerk reaction, will use fictions to criticize any Democrat, solely because they are Democrat. We see that kind of absurd, baseless criticism by Republicans every day regarding President Obama. If Santa was a Democrat, I suspect Fifth Ave Guy would criticize Santa for being skinny and without a beard.

        Most likely, Fifth Ave Guy doesn’t use the services of the County Clerk as that’s the only reason he would think the job is a fluff job, and not realize Idoni has greatly modernized the Dept of County Clerk.

        Anyone who considers party affiliation as the basis of a government official’s quality, ahead of what that government official has done, is in no position to fairly critique that governmental official. Otherwise, one blinds their own objectivity and slants one’s own perceptions away from reality and into the world of fantasy. Of course, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are obvious examples of people who cite untrue fantasy as fact, based on their political bias.

  3. the mayor has new clothes
    great bit of artwork!!!!!!!!!!!although he looks well nourished in that pic, would have been better to use a stick figure dressed like that! our mayor is wasting away!,,,,,i wonder what has him so worried that his health looks to be in question?

  4. Witch Doctor doing rain dance
    Can’t wait to hear the spin tonight at the State of the City address. I hear the witch doctor is doing a rain dance to keep turnout low.

  5. Where is the IDA Cost-Benefit Analysis?
    At last month’s City Council meeting, IDA Chairperson and District 6 Council Member Marianne Sussman angrily disputed District 4 Council Member Richard St. Paul’s entirely accurate characterization of the New York State Comptroller Report which cited numerous, comprehensive deficiencies in the conduct of the IDA, much under Sussman’s watch and all of it under City Manager Chuck Strome’s watch.

    Specifically, she has claimed that the IDA has done cost-benefit analysis for all IDA projects. That being the case, it should be quite simple for the Mayor to obtain specific, development by development, accounting for each and every IDA project on his list which would include Avalon 1 and 2, Trump, Etc.

    That neither the Mayor, the IDA or the City Manager has been able to rebut with hard information your previous articles on the true cost of development in New Rochelle. That the Mayor sends around a fluff piece touting demonstrably false claims is just further evidence that they Mayor is clutching at straws in yet another attempt to deceive voters.

    For readers who are not sure about this, look at what has been happening at the recent Board of Ed Budget Meetings where angry parents of parochial school children are seeking to have out-of-district transportation services restored. A group of these parents approached the board members after the meeting and were told at great length that a major factor in the budgeting issues facing the district now have to do with poor choices made by the IDA in granting 30 year tax abatements in buildings that are now filled with children, costing the district millions of dollars a year. From the BoE perspective their concern is heightened because under the law existing at that time the school district was not allowed to get a share of even the paltry sums paid by Avalon under PILOT and did not get a single dollar from the recent deal with Avalon under which the company made advance payments totaling $9 mm over five years on the leased property. So far the City has received $4.5mm of that money. Had the BoE received their usual cut of that tax revenue (about 65%) they would have received $2.9mm, more than enough to cover the cost of transportation for the out-of-district parochial students AND/OR retain many of the teaching positions that will be lost this year. However that money would be spent, if the City takes in $1.3mm in revenue from the Avalons as the Mayor says, the BoE is paying out about double that to provide educational service for the kids who live there.

    If the Mayor wants to call Avalon 1 and 2 necessary “loss leader” and argue that they will provide benefits to the City in the far future once the losses are absorbed, let him say so but to claim that there is a net benefit of $1.3mm for the school district or $7.5mm overall is utter nonsense, obvious to anyone with even a cursory understanding of arithmetic.

  6. The philosophy imposed on the
    The philosophy imposed on the city by Tim Idoni and Noam Bramson isn’t working. The idea has been to attract people into the downtown with “disposable” which in turn would generate the need for retail.

    I for one have been more than patient with this goal and gave both present and past administrations a chance to succeed in this quest. Unfortunately, it hasn’t panned out and the taxpayers have to endure the burden.

    First and foremost, each development project should be reviewed to determine it’s immediate economic benefit to the community. Thus far, Avalon has not provided NR with any significant benefits. Now, we as a community, are stuck with this blunder for the foreseeable future.

    Therefore, as residents and taxpayers, we need greater control over the types of development that are brought to NR. If we, the citizens, endorse a project, we have no one to blame for it’s failure but ourselves.

    Avalon and Trump Towers were pushed on the citizens by Sussman, Bramson and Idoni. Residents in the south had little interest in seeing these projects come to fruition. They were painted as a benefit to the area by our elected leaders when in fact they were not. If we can get rid of Forest City like we got rid of Capelli, we would be much better off.

    1. Origin of NR ‘Development’ – Paduano & Idoni & Bramson
      If you wish to attribute downtown ‘development’ of New Rochelle to former or current Mayors, you need to include the original Mayor who initiated the ‘development’ of Huguenot Street, and that was a Republican, Leonard Paduano.

      In the late 1980’s thru early 1990’s, there was a pre-Avalon development plan for Huguenot, by Drexel-Burnham Reality. Although Drexel-Burnham Reality was in bankruptcy, New Rochelle went ahead, and bought up and destroyed all of Huguenot Street between Bridge St and Division St on the north side, and I believe on the south side, between Lawton and Division. A major company doing the destruction was Garito Construction, owned by Frank Garito, former New Rochelle Mayor and a Republican.

      Prior to that urban removal project, both sides of that part of Huguenot St had profitable businesses, paying New Rochelle Sales Tax and Property Tax. These businesses included ‘Reliance Market’ and ‘Muellers Office Supply’. The owner of Reliance Market, Charlie Gotch, was intellectually intact and in his 90’s, and was happy to sell his property and to retire. But the owners of Muellers, whose name I have forgotten, certainly protested the urban removal and wanted to keep his thriving business on Huguenot a short block from North Ave. I also strongly protested the needless destruction of Huguenot, as this is my neighborhood and I saw the whole plan as foolish.

      Most of the Huguenot buildings destined to be torn down, had second floors which were residential with affordable rent. The hapless tenants had to be evicted. New Rochelle lost Sales Tax not only from the businesses it wrecked, but also from the Sales Tax formerly paid by the tenants it had evicted. And of course, neighboring businesses on nearby streets permanently lost revenue also due to the unnecessary eviction of tenants of Huguenot St.

      The ironic and pitiful thing about all of this, is that everyone knew Drexel-Burnham Reality didn’t have the finances to do their Huguenot St development, and that there was no alternate plan. The whole thing was pure destruction with little benefit to New Rochelle nor to the neighborhood. Indeed, for many years that area looked like a former war zone.

      The one benefit Paduano’s destruction of Huguenot got us was new parking lots, one where the Library Green now exists, and the other which was later and unfortunately replaced by Avalon II. I think the parking lots were more useful for commerce, than the Avalons that replaced them.

      When Democratic Mayors Tim Idoni & Noam Bramson developed these properties into Avalon I and Avalon II, they were filling the hole left by Mayor Leonard Paduano. After Paduano’s urban removal, something did need to be developed there. Idoni first became Mayor, shortly after Huguenot was torn down, and Bramson much later became the next Mayor.

      Based on the history of Huguenot between North Ave and Division St, which I think I have accurately recited, it was Mayor Paduano who solely ‘presided’ (if a ceremonial mayor presides) over the forced eminent domain and destruction of that area in the late 1980’s thru early 1990’s. His term ended in 1992.

      Mayor Tim Idoni’s first term began in 1992, and he was elected three times. During that time Avalon I was built on the empty property left by Mayor Leonard Paduano. Mayor Idoni’s successor, Noam Bramson became Mayor about five years ago, and Avalon II was built on the remainder of the empty property left 15 years earlier by Mayor Leonard Paduano.

      We can never know whether buildings like Avalon would have ever been built in New Rochelle if Huguenot St had not first been destroyed by the Paduano Administration, back when John Heller was the Commissioner of Development. The following other 1990’s members of the City Council are also responsible: Robert Schaeffer, Linda Levine and Donald Zaccagnino. As I recall, the only City Councilmember to vote against destroying Huguenot St and get it right was Fran Judge.

      Whatever one thinks of Idoni’s and Bramson’s responsibility for building the Avalons, it must be seen in the accurate context of their having to fill a number of empty lots on Huguenot; and that the initial responsibility for needlessly destroying many viable buildings, businesses and residences is with Mayor Paduano, his City Council, and the corrupt City Manager Sam Kissinger. Kissinger is really the main blame for most problems still plaguing New Rochelle.

      What I wonder is, how much sales tax and property tax would have been paid to New Rochelle from 1989-2011 if those properties, buildings, businesses and residences of Huguenot St had not been taken over by eminent domain, and had been left alone? Would they currently be generating more tax revenue to New Rochelle than the current properties, buildings, businesses and residences that replaced them?

      1. Brian
        I just thought it was pretty funny how you seemed to mention roughly 9 times how former Mayor Paduano was responsible for Huguenot st. 9 times! In my opinion that is a bit redundant. You sound like you support our local administration and if everybody in this town thinks like you then maybe it is time to pack up after decades here and seek new ground. You must be a white collar kind of guy and probably have no idea what a blue collar life is like. This city is chasing out the very people who helped build it.

      2. Big Brother – Paduano
        Actually despite my displeasure with Paduano’s destruction of Huguenot St, I voted for Paduano rather than Idoni in 1991, because Paduano had caused a Charter Referendum to be held, in order to replace an At-Large City Council with a Districted City Council, and to replace the bureaucratic City Manager government with an Elected Excutive Mayor. I still consider this the most desirable form of government. We still have one At-Large member of the City Council, so it is neither truly districted nor One-Man-One-Vote.

        In 1991, candidate Tim Idoni supported Paduano’s Charter Referendum’s mandate for a Districted City Council. But at that time, Tim Idoni supported a City Manager form of government. Considering that Tim won the 1991 election he would have become the first Executive Mayor of NR since around 1933. If Tim had supported an Executive Mayor over a City Manager, I would have voted for Tim Idoni in 1991.

        By 1999, Tim Idoni advocated for an Executive Mayor, and I voted for him that year and since. I might add he is an excellent County Clerk and would have made an excellent Executive Mayor.

        The only reason I had mentioned Paduano so many times, is that TOTS posters like to blame the Avalons on Idoni/Bramson.

        As Idoni/Bramson (actually Managers Korn & Strome) had to clean up the mess left behind by Paduano (actually City Managers Kissinger & Indelicato), I felt it necessary to place Idoni/Bramson policies into context.

        As I went into details, I had to refer to Paduano a number of times. Please note I also named the rest of his City Council and how they voted, as well as the Commissioner of the Dept of Development, as well as the City Manager.

        When you assume I support the current administration, I am uncertain of what that means. I regularly tell Democrats Councilmembers what I think of what their doing, and I usually only speak up if I am in disagreement, such as when it comes to NR so-called development. As I speak openly at NR Dem Committee meetings, there are many Distict Leaders and elected officials hearing my feedback. Of course, one would expect democracy to exist in the Democratic Party. I am more specific there than at TOTS, as there are things that should be kept more discrete than posting them for the public on the Internet. I don’t see your or many other TOTS posters criticizing your own Republican Party.

        I live in an apartment and don’t pay property tax, but I often speak up on behalf of property tax payers at NR Democratic Committee meetings too. There is no personal or political benefit in my doing so. I also speak up on other things, such as Union workers in Wisconsin.

        I live in a blue-collar, largely black and hispanic building, in a largely Black and Hispanic neighborhood (other than the Avalons). I am not a white collar kind of guy, nor were my parents or grandparents. I dislike Big Business and am totally sympathetic with the working class, the lower middle class, and the middle-middle class. I am not sympathetic to the upper class who are a group who’s income taxes should be doubled so everyone else’s taxes can be lowered.

        It is Republican conservatives, even poor northern blue collar and southern red neck ones, who are out to cut their own throats by supporting tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy, and support reductions of governmental social programs. It only benefits the ultra-wealthy who laugh all the way to the bank every time they connive working class persons to vote against the working class’s best interests.

      3. Sussman wrong on council districts
        Rather than pick apart another one of your prolonged posts, it was a lawsuit by the NAACP, which resulted in New Rochelle going to council districts. While I’m at it I would like to remind you that Idoni and the New Rochelle Democrats reduced the African American population in District 3 to less than 50% during the last redistricting which resulted in another lawsuit. Judge Briant ordered restoration of the original 54% but the democrats rejected that proposing 51% to the NAACP who accepted rather than risk a legal decision.

        You are correct that “one would expect democracy to exist in the Democratic Party”. Why then does the New Rochelle Democratic Party hold closed meetings in private buildings denying public participation and transparency while the New Rochelle Republican Party conducts meetings in public buildings encouraging public participation?

      4. To Anthony Galletta Regarding Political Party Meetings
        I am a member of the New Rochelle Democratic Committee, and I am unaware that our monthly meetings are private. Why do you believe that to be so?

        On the other hand I was unaware that New Rochelle Republican Committee has public meetings. In fact, it is my understanding that the New Rochelle Republican Committee doesn’t meet frequently or on any regular basis.

        What public building does the Republican Committee meet in, and when. Maybe I’ll attend if that is allowed. But I am not about to switch.

      5. Sussman not as informed as he believes
        Brian, I attended Democratic City Committee meetings when they were held at the Doyle Center, a public building. One night Mayor Tim Idoni was outraged at my attendance and identified me as a “spy”, instigating a near riot with the odds about 70 to 1. I refused to leave and the meeting was adjourned with Tim suggesting everyone meet at a private house, I heard Arnie Klugman’s name mentioned but didn’t pursue the gang to see where they went. After that meeting, the democrats held their meetings at the Elk’s club and denied entrance not only to me, a non-affiliated voter at the time, they also denied entrance to registered democrats who did not toe the party line.

        You are correct that the NR Republican Party does not meet anywhere near as often or as regular as the democrats but they do meet in public buildings, the city hall annex on Beauford Place currently, and the PUBLIC is always WELCOME

      6. Anthony Galletta – Thanx for writing of private Dem meetings
        Anthony –

        Thanks for telling about your experience with the Dem Committee having a private meeting. I have never seen anything like that at a NR Dem Committee Meeting, and I am surprised to hear about it.

        Certainly the Westchester Dem Committee Meetings are public and in a public building (County Center).

        I could only understand such privacy if the NR Dem Committee Meeting were one where there was a nominating convention for political or governmental offices. Even then I question it.

        In comparison, all Westchester Dem Committee Meetings are nominating conventions for political or governmental offices, and open to the public.

        I would say more here, but I want to question other District Leaders about this, to find out what they know.

      7. Brian go to the source, Tim Idoni
        Brian, don’t question district leaders, go right to the source: Tim Idoni. By the way I must give Arnie Klugman his due. Arnie stated that I had every right to be there.

      8. Anthony Galletta is Very Mistaken Regarding Council Districts
        Anthony Galletta is very mistaken regarding Council Districts.

        Check your facts and you will find I am right. You are repeating a myth derived from facts other than what you are aware of.

        The reason New Rochelle has Council Districts is specifically because Mayor Leonard Paduano, on his own initiative under NYS Statute, designated a Charter Commission to create modifications to the New Rochelle City Charter, to be voted upon by Referendum in 1991. There were two proposals in that Referendum: one to create an Executive Mayor while removing him from the City Council, and eliminating the office of City Manager (failed to pass); and the other proposal voted on was to create City Council Districts (passed). The NAACP supported Paduano’s referendum, at least regarding Council Districts, but I am unsure what their position was on replacing the City Manager with an Executive Mayor.

        The referendum was supposed to occur on the same day as the November 1991 General Election, along with the election of Mayor and two City Councilpersons running At-Large.

        Unfortunately, the November Election Date was sabotaged by then-Councilpersons Linda Levine, Don Zaccagnino and Robert Schaefer (and I think some others), via an Action in NYS Supreme Court, demanding that the Referendum Date be moved to spring 1992, with the Complainants knowing full well that there would be a better turnout in Nov 1991 than in spring 1992. City Manager Sam Kissinger, who would have found his job non-existent if the Referendum fully passed, ordered Corporation Counsel Charlene Indelicato to default on this Supreme Court Action, resulting in that same referendum being rescheduled to spring 1992.

        At that point, I and Kotchumathen Babu began an action in US District Court, SDNY in White Plains, with me acting as Attorney. The named Respondents were Linda Levine, Don Zaccagnino, Robert Schaefer, Sam Kissinger, Charlene Indelicato, and the Westchester Board of Elections.

        Our Judge was Charles L. Brieant, Chief Administrative Justice, SDNY. He allowed me to represent myself and Babu even though I am not an attorney, as he realized I understood Federal Law and the issues of the Action. The Action was under 42 USC §1983, for violation of a person’s federal civil rights under false color of State Law.—-000-.html

        Charlene was representing New Rochelle in my USDC SDNY Civil Rights Action.

        Justice Brieant asked me why I would have jurisdiction in Federal District Court, essentially to appeal a decision of NYS Supreme Court. Normally an aggrieved party would appeal to NYS Supreme Court Appellate Division, then to NYS Court of Appeals, then to US Supreme Court, without an appeal ever entering US District Court?

        I responded that the Respondent to the original NYS Supreme Court Action was the City of New Rochelle, and that the City of New Rochelle had deliberately defaulted. I pointed out that City Manager Kissinger had violated his oath of Office by ordering Corporation Council Charlene Indelicato to default, and that Kissinger had made that order to default for totally self-serving purposes to maintain the existence of his office of City Manager. I pointed out that as I was not a Party to the NYS Supreme Court action, I had no basis for appeal to Appellate Term, and that left me with a USDC 42 USC §1983 suit as the only basis of a court action, because my Civil Rights had been deprived.

        Justice Brieant then asked Charlene Indelicato why New Rochelle defaulted in NY Supreme Court? She replied that the City Council had refused to vote funding for an outside lawyer to represent New Rochelle in the Supreme Court action as the reason for the default. Of course, it was the very Complainants to the Supreme Court action, Councilpersons Zaccagnino, Schaefer and Levine who voted not to finance the defense of their own Complaint, and Justice Brieant realized this. The New Rochelle government was stinking pretty bad in US District Court by that point.

        I then asked Charlene Indelicato, as she was Corporation Council, wasn’t she obligated to defend a NYS Supreme Court action against New Rochelle if there were no lawyers retained, and then I asked why she hadn’t?

        You should have seen Justice Brieant’s mouth drop, when Corporation Council Charlene Indelicato responded that she wasn’t qualified to defend New Rochelle in Court. This was an amazingly stupid response, considering at that moment she was defending New Rochelle in Federal Court.

        Justice Brieant immediately ordered the referendum to be held on November Election Day 1991, and despite their protests, also ordered the Westchester Board of Elections to monitor it. It would seem my Court Action was completely successful.

        The above is all a matter of Court Record.

        I followed this up, by reporting my success to Charter Commissioner Michael Amodio. He had led me to believe he was hoping my Court Action would be successful in maintaining the November 1991 referendum date he had scheduled, and he thanked me for my success. Several Days later I read in the Standard-Star that Amodio on his own initiative and without apparent cause, rescheduled the Referendum for spring 1992.

        Because Charter Commissioner Michael Amodio sabotaged his own referendum, I no longer had jurisdiction in US District Court, and the Referendum was held in spring 1992. The people of New Rochelle voted to pass that part of Paduano’s referendum changing the City Council to one with Districting. But because the people voted against the electing an Executive Mayor, this left the ceremonial Mayor as an At-Large member of the City Council, bastardizing the concept of City Council Districts.

        It was after Mayor Paduano’s Referendum had already created City Council Districts, that the NAACP first got involved in Court, and that was regarding not to the creation of a City Council with Districts but rather as to how those Council Districts would be apportioned. The NAACP has done this several times in the past, and I suspect will do so again in 2011 or 2012, following the next redistricting.

        In fact, the NAACP would fail in a Court Action if they base their complaint on At-Large City Councils violating Civil Rights. There are many At-Large City Councils throughout the USA and they exist in Westchester County.

        It is only when the City Council Districting already exists, that the NAACP would succeed in questioning how a District is apportioned, and it was only after Mayor Paduano’s Referendum created City Council Districts, that the NAACP had the basis to sue regarding the need for an ethnic based district.

        I might add, I am amazed that the NAACP has settled for a City Council of six Districts and one At-Large Member (the Mayor). The Courts would not recognize racial bias in a completely At-Large City Council as there could be no racially biased districts to modify if there are no districts. But our current City Council is in violation of One-Man-One-Vote because it has one At-Large Member who always seems to be an extra North End Councilmember. The NAACP should demand that the City Council be completely comprised of Council Districts.

        And the Mayor should be an Elected Executive and not a member of the City Council. After all we are supposed to have three branches of government, but New Rochelle only has two.

      9. What a bit of history
        I would however like to deal with the here and now.

        Being that we are operating in a city with council districts, I would applaud a redistricting initiative that was non-partisan. Allocating the districts void of political posturing. Utilize a non-partisan group to piece the districts according to neighborhood contiguity, not voter/party registration. This would be most fair. The last time that redistricting took place, a potential candidate, with considerable teeth was removed from his would be district, by virtue of his address and of several relatives addresses due to tipping the balance out of the democratic super majority. This was an egregious error in the democratic process.

        Or, if council had any real desire to set the political balance straight, they would push for a referendum to straighten out the political landscape by proposing a plan that would call for a strong mayor, or to eradicate the current mayor’s position by restoring it to the ceremonial position that the charter in fact has it as now.

        Both Idoni and Bramson have blatantly disregarded the charter since they have assumed office.

        What would be even better is to expand the council into eight districts and add a strong mayor, but this might be to applaudable and fair to actually exist.

        Furthermore, the library should be reabsorbed back into city control, and the board of ed should be placed under city/mayorial control so that the tax base could be placed under one entity, therefore affording the city the ability to allocate resources more equitable to all services rendered by the city.

        I know though, that this is way to utopian to fathom.

      10. To FedUpinNew Rochelle re: Mayor’s Power in Current Charter
        You have advocated: “…to eradicate the current mayor’s position by restoring it to the ceremonial position that the charter in fact has it as now. Both Idoni and Bramson have blatantly disregarded the charter since they have assumed office.”

        I am acquainted with the current and previous City Charters, as well as with the proposed charters of two separate referendums one of which resulted in our current Charter.

        Under all versions of the City Charter we have been governed by since 1933, the Mayor has been an At-Large member of the City Council, and the President of the City Council. The President of the City Council has no executive powers at all, and merely acts as the Chair of the City Council. Under the City Charter the Mayor presides over the City Council regardless of which party is in the majority. But under out City Charter, the Mayor is solely a legislator, an equal member of the City Council with no more powers than the others, except for the ability to appoint some officials to office.

        The NR City Charter also gives our Mayor the power to appoint some members of Boards, while the City Manager has the power to appoint appoint some members to other Boards. The NR City Charter also gives our Mayor the power to appoint acting City Judges. The Mayor used to have the pwoer to appoint the Board of Education but NYS took that power away and mandated that be replaced by a vote of the People.

        NYS statute, however, gives all Mayors additional powers, regardless of whether they are Executives, Legislators (such as in NR) or purely cerimonial. Any Mayor can unilaterally appoint a Charter Commission to revise a City Charter. I’ve only known of this to occur once in NR, and that was when Mayor Paduano appointed the Charter Commission that wrote our current version of the NR City Charter by changing our City Council from being all At-Large to one of six Council Districts and one At-Large Council Member (the Mayor).

        So I must ask you, conidering those accurate facts, in what way do you believe that “Both Idoni and Bramson have blatantly disregarded the charter since they have assumed office.”

        I also must point out, that Idoni assumed office under the old Charter when the City Council consisted only of five At-Large Members including the Mayor. Back then the Mayor actually had additional powers because he could appoint the members of the Board of Education. So actually, Mayors Idoni and Bramson actually have had reduced powers since Idoni was first elected.

        Regarding the Board of Ed’s budget, the City government has never controlled or determined the BOE Budget. Whereas, now we get to vote on the Board of Education Budget, previously the BOE made such determinations on their own, without oversite by the public or the the City government. Isn’t it best for the Public to determine who is on the BOE and how much their budget is? Why would you want to change it from that? What’s wrong with democracy?

      11. to FedUpinNewRochelle – re: Num of Council Districts & Library
        You and I agree on the following:

        The Chief Executive of New Rochelle should be elected. A Mayor should be that Chief Executive, and the Mayor should not be an At-Large Member of the City Council.

        However, I disagree with you on the number of City Council Districts there should be in that situation. You proposed Eight Council Districts. Clearly there has to be an odd number to avoid tie votes. Therefore I propose Seven Council Districts. This would leave the same number of Councilmembers as currently, but all would represent individual districts. Perhaps there would be better representation with Nine Council Districts, but it would increase the expenses with the extra salaries.

        Regarding the Library, the City of New Rochelle never was involved with the administration of the Library.

        Previous to the current administrative arrangement, the Library’s Board was appointed by the Board of Education, while its finances were paid for by the City Council. This was an absurd arrangement, with the Board of Ed essentially making the decisions without financial control, while the City had financial control but with no say in the Administration of the Library.

      12. Brian Sussman WRONG on NR Council Districts

        I’ll make this short & simple! Your version of history concerning council districts in New Rochelle differs from mine, the New Rochelle NAACP and Civil Rights Attorney Randolph McGlaughlin who represented Ossie Davis in the lawsuit.

        The New Rochelle NAACP;

        Civil Rights Attorney Randolph McGlaughlin

      13. To A Galletta – Council Districting Referendum Was Paduano’s
        I looked at your links and continue to dispute your understanding of the facts.

        Looking at your own links:

        The New Rochelle NAACP:

        “1991 – The NAACP discussed plans to file a lawsuit charging that New Rochelle’s system of at-large elections violated the Federal Voting Rights Acts by discriminating against blacks. The City and NAACP reached an out of court settlement, and a system of voting districts was created in 1993.”

        The NAACP’s wording here is somewhat misleading. It says here the NAACP “discussed plans to file a lawsuit” in 1991. It doesn’t say they actually filed the lawsuit in 1991. If they did it did not cause NR to go to Council Districts, in which case the NAACP action was preempted by Paduano’s initiative.

        But I believe the NAACP did not file that lawsuit until 1993, after Paduano’s Referendum creating districting had been approved by New Rochelle’s voters.

        The link says the City and NAACP reached an court settlement resulting and a system of voting districts was created in 1993. 1993 was two years after Paduano’s Referendum was created and one year after Paduano’s Referendum had been approved by New Rochelle’s voters.

        Civil Rights Attorney Randolph McGlaughlin

        “On March 13, 1991, McLaughlin represented Ossie Davis and others in a federal class action challenge against the at-large election system utilized by the City of New Rochelle, New York for the election of its City Council members. As a result on March 2, 1993 a referendum was held and approved leading to the City Council approving a six-district plan.”

        I don’t question that “”On March 13, 1991, McLaughlin represented Ossie Davis and others in a federal class action challenge against the at-large election system”. But that Court action did not directly result in Council Districts. There has never been a Court order requiring New Rochelle to change its City Council from At-Large to Districting nor was a referendum ordered by the Court. Perhaps the Court Action was preempted by Paduano’s initiative in his creating the Charter Commission.

        Paduano’s referendum was held in March 1992, having originally been scheduled for Nov 1991. I need to remind you I had my own Federal Civil Rights Suit in US District Court in 1991, specifically about the scheduling of Paduano’s referendum. 1991 was also the same year as the last At-Large City Council election.

        The City Manager wouldn’t have had the authority to modify the City Charter in any way.

        The City Council refused to directly propose Charter modifications nor to create a Charter Commission, because a majority didn’t believe in Council Districts – Zaccagnino (R), Levine (D) and Schaefer (D). As such the City Council made no out of court settlement with the NAACP to create Districts.

        Only two Council members believed in Council Districts Paduano (R) and Judge (R). As Mayor, Paduano had the power to create a Charter Commission, but not the power to make an out of court settlement with the NAACP.

        It was the Voters of New Rochelle who approved changing to Council Districts. I believe any Charter modifications must be approved by tbe Voters.

        If the voters had voted against Council Districting, the NAACP probably could not have got the Courts to ban an At-Large City Council, as such City Councils exist throughout the USA.

        Whereas Council Districting was created directly by Mayor Paduano’s initiative in appointing a Charter Commission that created the referendum approved by the voters, the NAACP Court successes were of a different nature.

        The NAACP court actions resulted, not in the creating of Districts in NR, but rather in how the Districts were apportioned. I expect this to happen again this or next year.

        There are several people who could clear this up, and it would be nice if they posted here: Randolph McGlaughlin, Leonard Paduano, Tim Idoni.

        Hon Charles L Brieant was the Judge in my 1991 USDC SDNY action regarding the NR Council Districting referendum, as well as the Federal Judge in all NAACP NR apportionment actions. Unfortunately, this wonderful Judge died last year.

      14. Sussman’s rants without merit

        I supply two links that contradict your version of history and now you challenge the NR NAACP and Randolph McGlauchlin a highly respected civil rights attorney. I offer direct documentation for TOTS readers to support my position, which I believe refutes your tirade. You state what you perceive to be fact, which to date remains unsubstantiated. If you were such an integral part of the adoption of council districts you should have supportive documentation at your fingertips. At the very least you should be willing to devote the time & energy to research and gather the documents, legislation passed supporting your claim of scheduled election(s), actual results of and the referendum you reference from the Board of Elections etc. Until that time I will rely on people like Randolph McGlaughlin and an organization like the NR NAACP with credibility.

        McGlaughlin’s website states that he represented Ossie Davis in a “federal class action challenge against the at-large election system utilized by the City of New Rochelle”. You may argue that a “challenge” is not a lawsuit but you would be foolish to do so in that the NR NAACP website states; “The City and NAACP reached an out of court settlement, and a system of voting districts was created in 1993.” If there was no lawsuit how could the City and the NR NAACP reach an “out of court settlement”? McGlaughlin’s site additionally states that the council district referendum was held on March 2, 1993 not 1991 as you claim.

        You state, “I regularly tell Democrats Councilmembers what I think of what their doing, and I usually only speak up if I am in disagreement, such as when it comes to NR so-called development.” Please tell TOTS readers where you spoke up against New Rochelle Development before TOTS’s existence? Forgive me but I never bumped into you or heard your name mentioned at multiple Citizens to be Heard meetings, Industrial Development Agency public hearings, or the community group meetings (South End Civic Association, Confederation of Neighborhoods Association, East End Civic Association, Citizens Reform Club etc.) where I made multiple presentations regarding costs of NR Development.

        Neither did I bump into you or hear your name mentioned when I attended rallies for redistricting especially the one the NR NAACP sponsored at the church on the corner of Memorial Highway & Lockwood Avenue where the keynote speaker was Randolph McGlaughlin. For the record, I was in the front row and couldn’t see everyone that filled the church behind me so I may have missed you.

        It would appear you only speak at closed Democratic City Committee meetings that blackballed democrats; the public and I are barred from. Now you and others will make the claim that I am your Republican counterpart. To that I respond that I am currently a registered Republican. I am a moderate conservative who supported and publicly advocated for domestic partner benefits in New Rochelle, I agreed with Tim Idoni when he flip-flopped on Strong Mayor and Tim’s definition of the garbage/refuse “fee” (tax); Tim defined the garbage fee as regressive right before it was adopted.

        As for criticizing my own party, you state; “I don’t see your or many other TOTS posters criticizing your own Republican Party.” Your words demonstrate how out of touch you are with reality. I can only speak for myself and I have openly criticized Council members Richard St. Paul for extending the MOU on LeCount Andersen, Albert Tarantino for extending the Forest City MOU and County Legislator James Maisano and former Councilmember Kathy Conroy when they opposed strong mayor. I have worked with and supported (lawn sign & publicly) Amy Paulin & Ron Tocci and both praised and criticized Senator Jeff Klein. I have worked side by side on various committees with democratic district leaders like Mitchell Tarnapol and David Lacher. While I am a registered Republican my opinions are based on research and my goal is to openly discuss the hard issues through unfettered debate, something Idoni and Bramson reject. I have challenged Bramson twice on VOODOO development claims and he refuses to present his case publicly. He, like you, expects every New Rochelle resident to accept his word as gospel and follow him like mice following the Pied Piper. Bramson had egg on his face with the first VOODOO claim because he miscalculated the number of students from Avalon, which he revealed in an email that found its way, anonymously, to my email inbox unbeknown to Bramson. Thanks anonymous!

        You claim you’re blue collar, live in an apartment, come from a blue collar family and you are “not sympathetic to upper class who are a group who’s income taxes should be doubled so everyone else’s taxes can be lowered.” You are not consistent, you want to double the upper class taxes yet sit on your hands and remain silent while the New Rochelle Democrats dolled out corporate welfare to millionaires and billionaires like Capelli & Trump.


      16. BRIAN BRIAN
        Come on man you don’t believe the crap the Dem’s gave you as truth do you? I thought you were a little more smarter than this.I have one thing to say UNISEF remember that,then tell me and other readers here your story.And by the way why if you care so much you were a no show at Noam’s speech tonight. Remember 5-5 oh boy wonder boy has spoken

      17. No Master Development Plan
        The truth is that the block you reference paid minimal city taxes and the second floors of these buildings were filled with drug dealers and crack houses. Regardless of how the land was cleared or who was responsible for clearing it the problem is how it was developed. To say Idoni inherited a vacant lot is correct but does that mean any development is better than no development? Home Depot & Costco got the first abatements while Idoni claimed build it and they will come. When that strategy failed, Idoni struck a deal with Capelli to build an Outside Mall using Cross County as a model and Idoni claimed the sales tax would save New Rochelle taxpayers. Idoni allowed Capelli’s bate & switch and authorized the no sales tax entertainment center. Now Idoni had two strikes and was desperate so he decided to place people with “disposable income” in downtown by erecting the Avalon skyscrapers so they could spend their wealth in NR’s business district which made no sense since there was nothing more than dollar stores & fruit markets at the time. What happened? Idoni struck out with a 30-year tax-abated white elephant. Avalon turned into a bedroom building with the disposable income going to NYC. Today Avalon markets to Iona students & families to the tune of DOUBLE the number of school children predicted costing the taxpayers of New Rochelle $2.3 million. Bramson followed Idoni’s lead along the way supporting every piece of legislation necessary while Tim stacked the deck appointing himself chairman of the Industrial Development Agency.

        Mr. Sussman, please explain how development is supposed to work. In my humble opinion, if a community is desperate for development the first businesses to be enticed should get the largest abatement and abatements should decrease as the plan proceeds. Why then did the first wave, Home Depot & Costco, receive 10-year abatements; the second wave, New Roc City, receive a 15-year abatement; while the last wave, Avalon 1 & 2, receive INDEPENDENT 30-YEAR TAX-ABATEMENTS?

        Another misnomer is that the City had no choice but to continue the balance of the 30-year tax abatement upon sale of Avalon 1 to Hearts Mountain. Yes that clause was in the LDA but Avalon 1 did not meet parking requirements stipulated in the building code and required release from the requirements, a variance, if you will. That gave the City bargaining power but rather than reduce the tax abatement the City went for a quick money grab of $9 million that was contractually due them. Not only did the City make mistakes then they continue similar mistakes today, always negotiating from a position of weakness. I dare you to identify one project where the City dictated to a major developer. When Echo Bay was brought to the forefront, councilwoman Chris Selin, held “stake holder meetings”. Those meetings produced overwhelming support, 66%, to save the armory. Three renderings were drawn with two saving the armory as the public wished but the Request for Proposal did not specify saving the armory. New Rochelle has a track record of cowing down to developers and giving the store away placing undue burden on City services & and New Rochelle taxpayers.

      18. Anthony Galletta is worng regarding drug houses on Huguenot
        Anthony Galletta is worng regarding drug houses on Huguenot.

        The buildings on Huguenot with drug problems were not the ones between North Ave and Division, but rather the ones where the Huguenot-Centre and Centre-Huguenot parking lots now exist.

        Additionally, the main problem there weren’t so much the buildings as the Bus Stop, where a lot of Bronxites would quickly come and leave by bus.

      19. You don’t have to tear down
        You don’t have to tear down buildings to get rid of drug dealers. Look at Harlem.

      20. I agree with truth…. but
        I agree but requiring the NRPD to do their job and get rid of the drug problem would require admitting a dug problem exists. That would never happen in NR as the current Crime Mapping situation proves. The police commissioner requests this technology and defines it as a highly useful law enforcement tool for the public while the council submarines it because they believes it would be detrimental to the community and real estate market. If the statistics already exist, as the mayor claims, why is this so appalling to him?

      21. To NRinfo – re: I agree with truth…. but
        MRinfo posted “I agree but requiring the NRPD to do their job and get rid of the drug problem would require admitting a dug problem exists…”

        I believe this was posted by NRinfo in regards to the question as to whether the former apartment buildings on the the north side of Huguenot on both corners of Centre, should have been torn down in the early 1990’s by the NR government (late Paduano and/or early Idoni), due to allegations of drug dealing in three of those buildings (a fourth building had burned down in the late 1980’s).

        I have a few comments to make:

        Those buildings weren’t drug infested, but rather it was the area of the public bus stop that was the problem. The NRPD could have easily taken care of any drug dealing on the street, and properly attributed the problem to people from the Bronx.

        This problem had existed decades ago back when Crack was popular among young people at that time. As years continued, the Crack users either died or grew older and moved on to other things, hopefully not into dangerous drugs. Crack is an inexpensive form of Cocaine, falsely rumored at the time as more addictive than Cocaine, but actually just as addictive.

        Anyway, tearing down those buildings was a shame, as the drug dealing was not within them, but rather was on the public streets in front of them.

        Having said that, I agree with NRinfo regarding the substance of his posting, that the NR government is more concerned about sweeping its crime problems under the rug, rather than to do something practical about it.

        I also agree with NRinfo that the New Rochelle government hides its problems because it is overly concerned about its image in the real estate market. Implicit in that is the fact that the NR government’s attempt to cover up the problems is ineffective and the NR government policy only contributes to real estate marketing problems in NR.

        It is important to understand that it is the City Manager, not the Mayor nor the City Council that runs the City of New Rochelle. It is the City Manager who appoints, retains or fires the various Commissioners who run the various city departments.

        If the City Council is not financing inexpensive software necessary to reduce crime, the City Manager should stand up and make an issue of it.

        Perhaps he doesn’t, because such crime-mapping software is probably illusionary and ineffective in small a city like New Rochelle, a bedroom community with a small urban area to be mapped for crime. Such software might be a gimmick altogether, or might have valid applications, but no doubt its effectiveness would be in large cities, or at least small cities with relatively large urban areas.

        But crime mapping software aside, I do agree with NRinfo that the NR government should deal directly and openly with its crime problems rather than to ignore them. Lately there has been a rash of violent crimes in New Rochelle. The problems might seem to be related to drug usage, but in reality most crimes are actually related to youth and mischief, whether it’s fights on the street, abuse of children by parents, or graffitti on whatever.

        Obviously, there is little of entertainment value in New Rochelle to occupy the time of teens and young adults. This is far different from when I grew up in New Rochelle in the 1950-60’s, when there was much to do here for teens and young adults.

        I am not talking of organized activities. Most kids have no interest in such things, and probably the ones who do, are not the troublemakers. I encourage New Rochelle’s efforts to provide organized activities, and encourage such efforts. But what is lacking in New Rochelle are decent places for kids to hang out. All they have is New Roc shitty, and that’s a pity.

      22. Sussman nothing more than a lackey
        Mr. Sussman, Mr. Galletta is correct when he states you are a political hack for the democratic party. You attempt to cover the mayor’s ass by throwing the city manager under the bus. You are technically correct, the city manager runs the day to day operations of the city but reality dictates that the city manager must appease the ruling party as he serves at the will of council [any party controlling 4 votes]. The city manager has already stated the New Rochelle Police Department will continue to use this crime mapping technology but it will not be publicized or linked from New Rochelle’s website. Watch a council meeting to see for yourself how the city manager bows to the majority’s [democrats] will.

      23. I find ironic that Brian
        I find ironic that Brian Sussman disagrees with the Mayor’s development plans but continues to support him politically.

      24. Brian Sussman full of himself
        First of all Brian, if I may call you by your first name, what makes me wrong? Just because Brian Sussman says so? You referred to the land, which Paduano cleared under urban renewal and that includes much more than the properties you want to cherry-pick, much like Mayor Bramson cheery-picks, development projects in his Voodoo Development prognostication. The property you reference, Huguenot-Center, is the old Chatter Box, which was included in the urban renewal plan. You absolutely mimic Noam in that you believe your word is final and everyone must bow down to your take on things. As far as you telling me what the problem was there, that is laughable since I lived and raised my children on the other side of the Centre Avenue bridge for 30-years. The bus stop was a drug transfer & drop-off site with many middlemen/street thugs residing in the surrounding buildings including the tenements on the opposite side of the Huguenot Street, which are still standing.

        As far as Tim Idoni goes, I have said publicly that Tim is a better County Clerk then he ever was Mayor of New Rochelle. But alas Tim & Noam must share the credit for allowing the overbearing tax burden on New Rochelle taxpayers and the outlandish strain on city services not to mention the devastation to the New Rochelle School District in lost taxes and extra cost to educate 115 students from the Avalons that totals $2.3 million!

      25. Anthony Galletta Can Cherry-Pick All He Wants
        Anthony Galletta posted to me:

        “You referred to the land, which Paduano cleared under urban renewal and that includes much more than the properties you want to cherry-pick…”

        Actually I don’t get your point here. What I was referring to were the properties where the two Avalons are, and I pointed out Mayor Paduano tore down the previous properties, solely to explain that Paduano left empty lots to be filled, and that Mayors Idoni and Bramson filled those lots with the two Avalons. I had brought this up only because I saw Idoni and Bramson attacked for building the Avalons; and because I believe the Avalons would never have been built if Paduano hadn’t first torn down all the buildings on both sides of Huguenot.

        You then posted that those buildings were torn down because of drug usage. I pointed out you were referring to buildings further away and unrelated to Avalon or to the original Drexel-Burnham proposal.

        Now you admit, you were referring to buildings further away and unrelated to Avalon or Drexel-Burnham. You were referring to something out of context to the Avalons, because it is you who are doing the cherry-picking.

        Nonetheless I don’t see what your point is, other than if you want to cast larger blame on Mayor Paduano than I had, for tearing down Huguenot St.

        But my whole point was to put the later development of the Avalons by Idoni/Bramson into historical context, with Paduano’s earlier destruction as to why those properties were available for construction.

        I must repeat here, I have been consistent for the last 40 years in my belief and advocacy against so-called ‘development’ of New Rochelle in the form of urban removal. I have consistently advocated for the preservation of New Rochelle’s buildings rather than their replacement. I have consistently advocated for the focus to be on commerce not construction. I have condemned the destruction of Ft Slocum’s buildings, and of the Armory. I have consistently advocated that City Yard remain where it is.

        I am of a different opinion on such matters than Mayors Tim Idoni, Noam Bramson and Leonard Paduano, regarding ‘development’. I neither condemn nor applaud them, but merely seek to put things into context. Much of what I post at TOTS is about context and historical fact.

        I have already posted here several times that we have lost much tax revenue due to the destruction of Huguenot and subsequent building of Avalon. I have also referred to the same problem with the destruction of Mechanic Street. So we are in agreement on tax revenue losses resulting from ‘development’.

        It is the Centre-Huguenot parking lot that was the Chatterbox, not the Huguenot-Centre parking lot. Cops/Metermaids sometimes get confused on that matter and give tickets to cars with permits that are in correct parking lots, because the Cops/Metermaids get confused between the names of the two lots.

        Actually the Crack Drug dealing was by Bronxites hanging out in front of the Chatterbox building by the bus stop. The people living in the three buildings were decent people, mainly hard-working Dominican immigrants. One building burned down and the other two buildings should not have later been taken by New Rochelle. New Rochelle had to pay those Dominicans a lot of money to move, as part of the Eminent Domain settlement.

        The Centre-Huguenot parking lot (Chatterbox) is across the street from where I’ve lived 32 years, so I know the history of those buildings very well. I believe you are referring to the building I live in as a drug-infested building, but you are very wrong. As I live here, I know this as fact as compared to your belief in false rumor.

      26. Brian Sussman for City Historian
        Brian, you stated that Mayor Paduano was responsible for the urban renewal on Huguenot Street, which includes the parking lot on Huguenot-Centre. The reason I focused on the Avalons is because mayor Bramson, like you, uses broad terms i.e. “development” then proceeds to ignore the negative impact from the largest and most egregious development that’s my point. I use statistics received through FOIL requests to support my opinion while you preach from the mountain top. If I didn’t know better I would think you were applying for Barbara Davis’ position as City Historian. Your “history lesson” attempted to exonerate Idoni & Bramson because they “inherited” vacant land from Paduano. I loathe this defense when either side uses it. Was Idoni blind to what he would “inherit” before making his decision to run for mayor? It’s not about what you “inherit” as much as what you do with what you “inherit”. Skyscrapers and people with disposable income now replace the vacant land but New Rochelle is not better for it. Trump & Capelli laugh all the way to the bank at Tim & Noam while New Rochelle taxpayers suffer with the burdens democrats must accept as their legacy. While Bramson will never admit it he realizes his mistakes, that’s why he focused on “infrastructure improvements” in his State of the City speech last Tuesday. If there were a master development plan it would have begun with infrastructure, building a base for redevelopment. Unfortunately Idoni & Bramson built a house with no foundation, which they are continually trying to shore up. You can put lipstick on a pig but………….

        We are of different opinions and that’s what makes the world go round. That’s the reason you never get my point.

      27. To Anthony Galletta Regarding New Rochelle Development
        As I don’t believe in most of New Rochelle’s development over the last 40 years, I cannot defend it. All I can do is put it in context.

        Peggy Godfrey quoted me last year, that the City of New Rochelle was paved with good intentions ending up in bad results. Each City Council in trying to fix the previous City Council’s mess, only ends up compounding it.

        I think what New Rochelle need is commerce. I think so-called development impedes commerce during construction and there is no great benefit from so-called development. Downtown New Rochelle would be much better off following the model of Mamaroneck, Larchmont or a number of communities where the old building remain but are a source of constant commerce. Anyone trying to turn New Rochelle into White Plains or Co-op City is totally confused as to what New Rochelle is about, and doesn’t understand what makes White Plains or New Rochelle tick.

        You are mistaken to think that Democrats follow their politicians like lemmings just because that is how the Republicans tend to be.

        To quote Will Rodgers “I am not a member of an organized party. I am a Democrat”.

      28. Brian,
        I agree with


        I agree with everything you said. Once again, I thank you for all the info on NR history.

        I too wish the buildings on Huguenot weren’t demolished. It would have been much better to rehab them and preserve existing architecture rather than tearing them down.

        I also agree with you on Len Padauno. If I am not mistaken, he is the one who gave Macy’s the exclusive right to the Mall which I believe played a role in it’s demise.

        But just because Paduano tore down buildings doesn’t mean they had to be replaced with Avalon. Idoni wanted to compete with WP and had this vision of turning NR into another WP. Bramson took over that notion when Idoni left.

        Personally, I always wanted to see more emphasis on rehab. I even talk to the late Craig King about it but it seems city officials had a different agenda in mind. Where would we be without Avalon right now? My guess is that would be in same or better position right now. Sadly, we are stuck with these buildings and we can’t just take an eraser and make them go away. More thought needed to go into development before it was pushed on the taxpayers.

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